Casper Ruud took on Holger Rune in the fourth quarterfinal of the 2022 French Open on Wednesday. It was expected to be the least interesting match-up of the round. but ended up delivering the most drama.
The on-court action had its own share of controversial incidents, including Rune losing his cool towards his mother and demanding that she leave the stadium midway through the match. Later, after Ruud won the last point of the match, he was partially snubbed at the net by the teenager, who departed with a less-than-earnest handshake and no words exchanged.
The Norwegian was clearly taken aback and reacted with a disappointing shake of the head, a moment that has since gone viral on social media, with fans using it to lambast the Dane for his behavior.
Rune was seen as the guilty party throughout, until the emergence of a recent interview he gave to Danish media outlet Ekstra Bladet. In the interview, the World No. 40 revealed that Ruud got all up in his face after the match in an unsportsmanlike and disrespectful manner.
"In the locker room, he and his team have to pass me. The team is actually very sweet, but then he just goes straight to me and shouts 'JAAAA' straight up in my head," Holger Rune said. "I was just thinking: What the hell are you doing? You do not do that to those in power. You can cheer on the court all you want and be happy. I do that myself when I win. But that's such a bad style. However, have a little respect."
Holger Rune also touched on the flare-up after he called for the umpire to check on ball marks. The teenager denied Ruud's allegations that he did it too often, stating that the Norwegian was impatient from the very first time he requested the chair umpire to confirm a line call.
"It all started when I asked the judge to look for a mark. It's very close to the line and I can not see if it's inside or out. Then he says, 'Do you have to check every mark?' And this was the first time I asked the judge for it," Holger Rune said.
Furthermore, Rune was disappointed by Ruud making conversation with him in the middle of the match, pointing out that it was not something he was comfortable with. The Dane was of the opinion that his opponent kept talking even when he did not respond in kind.
"I told him not to talk to me. We're in the middle of a tennis match. It belongs nowhere. But at the turn of the page, he goes on to say 'you do not talk to people like this.' And there I just repeated that he should not talk to me," Holger Rune said.
Casper Ruud's father denies allegations, while Holger Rune's mother backs her son's version of events
From there on, things got much more interesting. Casper Ruud's father Christian Ruud denied all of Holger Rune's allegations in a TV interview with Norwegian media, stating that it was "a lie."
"It is simply a lie," Christian Ruud said to Norweigan National Media.
This prompted a response from the Rune camp, which came via his mother Aneke Rune. Aneke declared that Ruud's father was nowhere in the vicinity when the yelling transpired between her son and his, and that the teenager had never been subjected to such hostile behavior before on the ATP tour.
"They can not say otherwise. It's embarrassing. The father had left, so for good reason he can not know," Aneke Rune told Ekstra Bladet. "It takes a lot, Holger Rune takes the magazine from his mouth and speaks. But he has never experienced at ATP level that the match should continue off the field. We have experienced this several times at Future level, but never from ATP."
Anneke Rune went on to throw further shade at Ruud, remarking that he was not helpful to up-and-coming players like other top stars. She also added that he is not a "real top-10" player.
"And when we look at Djokovic , Zverev, Medvedev and more, they are all so helpful to the young. But not Ruud. But he's probably not a real top ten yet - understood that he has not been lying there so long that he rests in himself like the others," Aneke Rune added.